The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on Monday, 13 October, expelled nine of its party leaders who quit to join Chirag Paswan's Lok Janta Party (LJP) ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, reported NDTV.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi declared that Chirag Paswan’s LJP is no longer part of the NDA in Bihar. Earlier last week, the Bihar Deputy CM had warned the rebel leaders to “come back to the fold or be expelled,” NDTV reported.
Without naming the LJP even once, Sushil Kumar Modi further stated that only the BJP, JDU, Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM and the VIP of Mukesh Sahni were part of the NDA, and could contest the election under that banner.
“If we get a majority, then only Nitish Kumar will be Chief Minister. There should be no confusion on that front,” Sushil Modi was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Sushil Modi’s statement comes after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was left upset by the party's refusal to act against Chirag Paswan and his targeting of the Chief Minister.
The leaders who were expelled by BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal were: Rajendra Singh, Usha Vidyarthi, Rameshwar Chaurasia, Mrinal Shekhar, Ravindra Yadav, Shweta Singh, Indu Kashyap, Anil Kumar and Ajay Pratap, reported The Hindu.
“You all are contesting the elections against NDA candidates, and it tarnishes not only NDA’s impression but of party as well and this is against party’s discipline…so, for anti-party activities you all are expelled from the party for six years,” said the letter issued by Jaiswal.
Elections for the Bihar Assembly will begin on 28 October and will be held in three phases. The counting of votes will take place on 10 November.
The JDU-BJP alliance has agreed a 122-121 seat-sharing deal, with the VIP getting 11 seats from the BJP's share and the HAM getting seven from the JDU.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Hindu)
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